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Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

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The Samut Sakhon governor is continuing to recover from a dangerous bout of Covid-19 and is expected to be taken off a ventilator today. The 58 year old was in “critical condition” after contracting the virus on December 27. His infection was reported just a week after the outbreak at one of the largest seafood markets in the coastal province where thousands of migrant workers have now tested positive for Covid-19.

He was treated with an anti-viral drug and put on a ventilator on December 31, along with a cocktail of muscle relaxants and sleeping enhancers. The governor has not been reported as having any striking pre-existing medical conditions before his bout of Covid-19.

The governor’s wife, who also tested positive for Covid-19, has recovered and been discharged from the hospital. We wish them both a full and speedy recovery.

Condo prices in Bangkok are falling and are expected to continue to fall throughout 2021. Thailand’s real estate market, like much of the rest of the world, isn’t anticipated to pick back up again until the pandemic eases.

The average price of new condo in Bangkok is expected to fall by 5%, according to Nexus Property Marketing. New condos will declined by 3.9% while condo resales are expected to decline by 6.7%, according to Juwai IQI.

Marciano ???, business development Manager from FazWaz.com says that it’s certainly a buyers market at the moment….

(VIDEO)

“Prices have dropped, discounts are available and the market will likely take a sharp turn upwards after the pandemic is behind us.”

Nexus Research says that with 33,000 unsold condo units being completed, adding to the unsold stock in Bangkok, the average prices of resale condo units will also decline due to the competition with newly-completed condos.

3 people, including 2 brothers, have been arrested on charges of sex trafficking, accused of sending women to Brunei for serve as prostitutes. The 55 and 49 year old brothers were detained under an arrest warrant issued by the Criminal Court, charged with a sex trafficking operation involving over 3 people.

Following the arrest of the first suspect, Somchai was arrested in the northern province of Chiang Rai, with his brother taken into custody in the neighbouring province of Nan. They are charged with sending Thai women to Brunei for the purpose of prostitution, conning the women with promises of well-paid masseuse work.

The allegations against the traffickers came to light when a couple of their alleged victims reported to the Thai Embassy in Brunei to file a complaint. The women say the men lured them to Brunei with false promises, saying they could earn between 100 – 200,000 bath per month, as well as being provided with free food and accommodation.

Thailand’s Public Health Ministry has called for more information from the makers of the Chinese Covid-19 vaccine, after its effectiveness rating was revised downwards by researchers in Brazil. The Sinovac Biotech vaccine was originally confirmed as 78% effective in trials in the South American country, but that has now changed to just over 50%.

The research team at Brazil’s Butantan Institute say the discrepancy is a result of the higher rate not including patients who recorded “very mild” symptoms and did not need any medical treatment. They insist the vaccine is still 78% effective in preventing mild cases that do need treatment and 100% effective at preventing moderate to serious infections.

Meanwhile, the Thailand’s Department of Medical Sciences says the government still plans to take delivery of 2 million doses of the vaccine, starting with 200,000 next month. The next shipment of 800,000 doses will arrive by the end of March, followed by the final shipment of 1 million doses by the end of April. Medical workers, healthcare volunteers and elderly and other “high risk” groups will be prioritised to receive the vaccine.

In total, the ministry hopes to eventually vaccinate 70% of the population with the various vaccines, with the goal of achieving some level of herd immunity.

The government has retained its price control on 55 products and service items including medical face masks, a synthetic fibre used as a raw material to make medical face masks, alcohol and alcohol-based hand sanitiser, and recyclable paper.

The meeting of the Central Committee on the Prices of Goods and Services has decided to maintain the price control list for 55 items, 50 of which are products and five services. The list is scheduled to be proposed for cabinet approval next week.

The committee also agreed to a maximum retail price for medical face masks of 2.5 baht apiece, excluding face masks made of cloth.

And an update of the Covid-19 situation in Thailand today…. 271 new Covid-19 infection and 2 deaths were reported at the daily briefing, raising Thailand’s total number of infections to 11,262.

There are now 3,533 active cases being treated.

One of today’s reported deaths was a 72 year old British man who died after contracting Covid-19.He arrived in Thailand on December 7 and started experiencing Covid-19 symptoms 4 days later. The man had pre-existing health conditions including lung cancer, diabetes and hypothyroidism.

The other virus-related fatality was a 53 year old Thai man from Pathum Thani, just north of Bangkok.

Out of the 271 new Covid-19 cases, 78 are local transmissions, 181 cases were detected in proactive testing campaigns, and 11 cases detected in quarantine.

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO

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The Thai government threw a tourist party (sound of crickets) | VIDEO | The Thaiger

The Thai Government, flushed with the success of their containment of Covid-19, decided to market the Land of Smiles to the world as the safe place to travel. With the annual wet season starting to weaken the tourists would flock back to the S E Asian country that had such a remarkable success containing, then almost eradicating itself, of the coronavirus.

Then they came up with the STV – the special tourist visa which would have the world’s eager travellers packing their sun cream for up to 270 days of Thai tourism.

There were promises of plane loads of tourists and even published flights and carriers. A few flights arrived, most didn’t.

In fact, since the start of the STV, the Special Tourist Visa, with its long list of restrictions and requirements, was floated, along with a re-vamped Tourist Visa, less than 400 people have arrived per month, on average, since the end of October. In the October and November of the year before more than 3 million people arrived in Thailand. Even the government’s limit of 1,200 new tourist arrivals per month was even slightly tested.

The government had bought all the streamers and a pretty new dress for the party but no one came.

What went wrong?

Where was the much-anticipated pent-up demand and people banging on the doors of the world’s Thai embassies?

It was the European winter and the ‘snowbirds’ would surely be back to soak in some Thai sun rays. But no.

The first problem was there wasn’t much for them to come back to. They would have the beaches of the islands all to themselves, they wouldn’t have to wait in line for anything, the domestic airlines were still selling low fares to Tavel anywhere around the country.

But otherwise there wasn’t a lot for them to do. The tourism magnets were a shadow of their former selves. Walking Street, Bangla Road, tours and tour boats, all the tourist strip restaurants. The buzz of the crowds was gone and more than 90% of the tourist-related business had closed up.

Their staff, their families, their bank loans, their stock and investments – all on hold and forced to find come other means to make ends meet. 931 of some of the larger official tourism operators have now gone out of business, according to Bloomberg News. There would be thousands of the smaller family operations that have also been swept aside by the Thai government’s responses to the world pandemic.

 

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone

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Myanmar cancels Thai investment in the Dawei Special Economic Zone | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Environment Justice Atlas

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee has announced the cancellation on the deep seaport project contract with Italian-Thai Development (ITD), one of Thailand’s leading industrial firms, by saying that they “lost confidence” in the company after long, controversial issues.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone Management Committee said that the Thai company has caused them “repeated delays, continuing breaches of financial obligations under the contracts and the concessionaires’ failure to confirm their financial capacity to proceed with development”.

They say they will look for new development partners to continue the projects. Currently, there are still no comments from ITD.

The Dawei Special Economic Zone is Myanmar’s initiative to encourage international investments into the country, but the project has been delayed because of funding problems and local opposition.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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SRT studies alternative plans for Bang Sue Grand Station after no show of interested bidders

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SRT studies alternative plans for Bang Sue Grand Station after no show of interested bidders | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Bang Sue Grand Station

There seems to be little interest in the new Bang Sue Grand Station project, which is planned to be Thailand’s new railway hub in place of Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Railway Station and the largest railway station is Southeast Asia. Bidding for the station’s Plot A opened 3 weeks ago, with envelopes each costing 500,000 baht, but not one was sold.

With the bidding closing in January and no interest so far, the State Railway of Thailand is finding alternative plans for the Bang Sue Grand Station’s Plot A, a source told Nation Thailand.

“It is believed that nobody has shown interest in the project because of the new wave of Covid-19 infections. Also the Plot A project has low potential for commercial profit as an elevated expressway passes over it and it has limited access.”

If no one buys a bidding envelope in the next 10 days, then the bidding will close and the SRT will make changes to Plot A’s development plan. The source told Nation Thailand that railway officials might make the site a SRT office building or let other state agencies rent the land, which would not require any more bidding.

SRT is also studying any possibility to pack Plot A into Plot E which has a greater potential for commercial profit and may attract more bidders.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

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